5 Effective Ways to Improve Patient Collections

In recent years, healthcare costs have seen a significant shift. Patients have to bear a larger portion of expenses due to higher deductibles and co-insurances. The continuous increase in medical costs has become an ongoing challenge for patients and medical practices. 

Securing patient commitment to pay their medical bills is a significant challenge for healthcare providers. Over the past two decades, hospitals across the board have delivered a staggering $745 billion worth of uncompensated healthcare to patients in need.  

In this article, we’ll discuss the consequences of decreased patient satisfaction resulting from high medical costs. We’ll also explore how that affects medical practices and offer 5 effective ways to improve patient collections.  

CollaborateMD | Patient Collection

How Lower Patient Satisfaction Affects Medical Practices  

With the skyrocketing expenses, patients are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the care they receive. In turn, this negatively impacts the medical practices providing those services.   

When patients are unhappy with their care due to high costs, they may delay care or choose to forgo necessary treatment, leading to poorer health outcomes. This may reflect negatively on the medical practice, as their quality metrics and patient outcomes decline.   

Moreover, as patients share their dissatisfaction with friends, family, and online communities, the negative perception of the practice. A damaged reputation makes it more difficult to attract new patients and retain existing ones.  

The Role of Price Transparency to Improve Patient Collections

As the demand for healthcare transparency continues to grow, medical practices that openly share pricing information with patients will be at an advantage.   

This transparency not only improves patient satisfaction, but also fosters trust and loyalty to medical practices, enhancing the patient-provider relationship.   

Being upfront about medical costs empowers patients to make informed decisions about their care. When patients understand the costs associated with their treatment, they can better prepare for expenses and make choices that align with both their medical and financial needs.   

And as patients gain control over their payment schedules, they become more likely to make timely payments towards their medical bills.   

When compared to traditional billing methods in which patients often receive a one-time lump sum bill, self-managed payment plans promote a higher likelihood of patients attending to their financial obligations regularly.   

This not only improves patients’ ability to pay off their medical bills, but also reduces the overall accounts receivable (A/R) balance for your medical practice.   

Additionally, price transparency can help medical practices recognize areas of opportunity to reduce costs and better serve their patients.  

CollaborateMD | Price Transparency

5 Effective Ways to Improve Patient Collections 

Strengthening patient satisfaction around payments is crucial to maintaining the financial health of your medical practice in the face of increasing patient healthcare costs.  

Embracing patient-friendly payment options not only leads to better satisfaction but also contributes to the long-term success of your medical practice.  

Improve patient satisfaction in the face of rising medical costs with these thoughtful and proactive solutions for patient collections.   

1. Providing Patient Responsibility Estimates 

One of the most effective ways to enhance patient satisfaction around payments is by providing an accurate estimate of their financial responsibility before the service is performed.   

Transparency in billing allows patients to make informed decisions and even encourages them to be more proactive in managing their healthcare expenses.   

And with the No Surprised Act (NSA), implemented in 2022, not providing your patients with an estimate can seriously cost you.   

With penalties of up to $10,000 per NSA infraction, it’s more important than ever to have a tool that will create accurate patient estimates quickly and easily

2. Prompt Payment Discounts 

Providing incentives, such as prompt payment discounts, is another way to encourage patients to meet their financial obligations quickly.   

By offering a discount for payments made within a specified time frame, you can not only speed up the payment process but can also enhance the overall patient experience.   

Patients who take advantage of these discounts will often perceive that they are getting a better deal, resulting in higher patient satisfaction levels.  

Not only will it delight your patients, but it also positively impacts your revenue cycle by reducing accounts receivable days and cutting down on statement and collection costs.   

By implementing solid policies and consistent communication, every patient receives equitable treatment, making this an advantageous strategy for boosting your financial health.  

3. Electronic Statements 

Patients are increasingly becoming accustomed to managing their financial transactions online, and healthcare payments are no exception.   

Offering the flexibility to send statements electronically via text or email not only saves time and resources but also caters to your patients’ preferences.   

This modern approach can significantly improve patient collections, as they can promptly access and review their statements with ease. 

4. Online and Mobile Payments  

Another method to simplify patient collections is through online and mobile payment channels. An online option makes collecting payments faster, easier, and more convenient. This simplifies the billing process for your staff and creates a more user-friendly experience for your patients. 

Digital payments allow your practice to generate, track, and process billing through one system. The platform can be seamlessly integrated with your current technology stack. This ensures that information is transferred, and bills are generated on time.  

Rather than relying on paper mail with sensitive information, these systems protect and secure data. Online payments reduce the risk of misplaced bills or mishaps with checks. Once an invoice is generated, bills can be paid at the patient’s earliest convenience.  

This keeps financial records up to date, organized, and efficient. With mobile access, clients will be able to view their e-statements at any time. They can use the app to make a payment or view their financial records.  

Online platforms can be integrated with features such as text alerts and automated reminders. This can help boost payment collections. The program will notify and remind patients of bills that are due or overdue, encouraging them to make a payment.  

Features like this help save your staff time and resources while helping to ensure that payments are made on time. 

There is a high demand for ease and convenience in today’s world. Almost 70% of patients prefer streamlined, online payments for medical billing. Providing this option demonstrates that your practice values the patient’s experience. 

Healthcare apps and health management tools can change the way medical practices operate. They create easy-to-use systems for clients and staff. Which improves client services and creates a more efficient workflow.  

5. Offering Payment Plans  

Medical expenses can be daunting for many patients. The introduction of higher deductibles has only compounded this issue. In fact, a recent study showed that 40% of Americans struggle to keep up with their bills and credit payments.  

Offering payment plans can alleviate some of their financial concerns. With the option to direct their own payment plan, patients can set up a plan that works best for them. This can lead to increased satisfaction and loyalty, as customers will have reduced stress around payments.  

Payment plans facilitate flexibility. They can allow patents to repay their outstanding bills in a manageable way. These plans can be set to be paid in minimum or maximum installments. Scaled payment options allow patients to pay what they can afford each month. Each payment plan offered will be determined by the amount owed. 

Additionally, payment plans can be set up for automatic bill-pay. Patients can choose the day payments will be charged each month. This can help accommodate individual budgets and reduce any stress around monthly payments.  

Flexible payment options can also help reduce the A/R burden for your billing department. With an automated process and manageable payments, bills are more likely to be paid on time. With a reduction of unpaid balances, your practice may see improved financial stability. 

Ultimately, these plans give patients autonomy over their budget. A manageable plan can help reduce the financial burden of medical care. This can go a long way towards improving patient collections and boosting satisfaction. 

CollaborateMD | Patient Satisfaction

Improve Patient Payment Collections with CollaborateMD 

In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, providing patients with price transparency and efficient payment processes is becoming increasingly important. That is why CollaborateMD has introduced our Patient Responsibility Estimator.   

Built seamlessly into your existing CMD workflow, this advanced feature allows you to determine patient responsibility quickly, get paid faster, and enhance the overall patient experience by offering much-needed price transparency.  

To experience firsthand the transformation CollaborateMD can bring to your practice, schedule a demo with one of our experts today! Discover the difference patient estimates can make in elevating your patient’s experience. 



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